Bloody Sunday committee reissues ‘Jail Jackson’ demand

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The Bloody Sunday March Committee (BSMC) has reiterated its call for the former head of the British Army General Mike Jackson to be prosecuted for his role in the murder of 13 innocent anti-internment marchers in Derry on January 30, 1972.

The committee reissued the demand after the retired senior officer provided evidence on Thursday to the inquest into the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’ of August 1971 when ten people were murdered by members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment with an 11th later dying from a heart attack after being abused by soldiers.

BSMC member Betty Doherty said: “This is our committee’s second visit to the inquest but given the significance of [General Jackson’s] connection to the events of Bloody Sunday we wanted Jackson to see that just as the Ballymurphy families have stood alongside us we are here today to show our solidarity and support by standing with them.”

She said that General Jackson’s presence at the inquest represented the most tangible link between the massacre and the killings on Bloody Sunday. The committee compared General Jackson’s role at Ballymurphy where, through a press briefing he referred to two of the victims as “gunmen”, to a “shot list” he compiled as second-in-command of 1 Para five months later in Derry in which he described the Bloody Sunday dead as “bombers” and “gunmen”.

Ms. Doherty said: “Our main focus and demand at last year’s Bloody Sunday march was that ‘Sir’ Michael Jackson be jailed and that continues to be our primary demand. Despite the PPS announcement back in March that just one paratrooper is to be prosecuted, we continue to believe that all of the ordinary paratroopers who fired the shots should be brought to book. But the greater guilt still lies with the top brass. Jackson was in the Bogside as second-in-command on the day and in our view he should be charged with murder and with perverting the law by procuring the state’s cover-up of its actions on Bloody Sunday.”